Kalimpong: West Bengal’s Kalimpong town witnessed a distressing event when two journalists, Umesh Darjee from Kalimpong TV and Manoj Bogati, were subjected to a brutal assault near Geil Khola in the Teesta region on Tuesday.
This attack, allegedly carried out by individuals associated with the ruling party in the hills, has triggered widespread condemnation, as it is being viewed as a direct assault on press freedom.
Member of Parliament from Darjeeling, Raju Bista, expressed strong condemnation for the assault, asserting that such violence against media personnel stands in stark contrast to the region’s established political ethos.
Bista attributed this disturbing incident to a culture of violence and intimidation prevailing among the ruling party in the plains, which seeks to strangulate criticism and hold the media accountable for their alleged corruption.
“What is most tragic and saddening is that the whole attack happened in the presence of the chief of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration, who did nothing to leash in his goons,” Bista said.
The MP emphasised that a civilised response to any form of criticism should never involve physical violence. He urged individuals with differing perspectives to engage with facts and data to present their case to the public.
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“In the event of dissatisfaction with reporting or alleged misinformation, legal avenues and the honorable courts should be pursued. Resorting to threats, physical harm, or attempted murder, reflects a blatant disregard for the democratic principles, the constitution, and the crucial role of journalists in ensuring accountability. This unfortunate incident also lays bare the hypocrisy of those who preach “new ways of thinking” online while indulging in real-world hooliganism, he said.
I condemn this heinous attack, and join the people of our region in demanding strict action against those who are involved in this cowardly attack, the MP added.
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